Weigh-in result: Terence Crawford 135, Raymundo Beltran 134.8
Terence Crawford weighed 135 pounds on Friday for his WBO lightweight title defense against Raymundo Beltran, who weighed 134.8. Crawford and Beltran fight on Saturday at the CenturyLink Arena in Crawford’s native Omaha, Nebraska. THE RING’s vacant lightweight title will be on the line.
THE RING’s No. 1-rated lightweight, Crawford (24-0, 17 knockouts) is returning to the site where he scored four knockdowns on the way to June’s come-from-behind ninth-round stoppage victory over former featherweight beltholder Yuriorkis Gamboa, who was previously unbeaten.
Crawford defeated Gamboa before 10,943 of his fans. The Gamboa victory followed Crawford’s unanimous decision that dethroned Ricky Burns for the WBO belt on Burns’ turf in Glasgow, Scotland.
Prior to facing Crawford, Burns had battled to a controversial draw with Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs), who floored Burns in the eighth round in Glasgow in September 2013. Burns’ jaw was badly broken against Beltran, requiring the surgical implantation of titanium plates in advance of the loss to Crawford.
THE RING’s No. 2-rated lightweight, Beltran, 33, is 4-0-1 in his past five fights.
For Saturday’s co-feature, Russian IBF featherweight beltholder Evgeny Gradovich (19-0, 9 KOs) and Puerto Rican challenger Jayson Velez (22-0, 16 KOs) both weighed 126 pounds.
Trained by Robert Garcia, Gradovich, 28, was last in action for a unanimous decision over Alexander Miskirtchian in May that followed his ninth-round stoppage of former titleholder Billy Dib in November.
Gradovich won his belt by split decision over Dib in March 2013 and made his first defense with a unanimous decision over Mauricio Javier Munoz in July 2013.
Velez, 26, is coming off a second-round knockout of Miguel Soto in April, representing his third stoppage in his past four fights. Velez debuted on American soil in his ninth fight in June 2009, scoring a third-round stoppage of Jesus Bayron. In December 2012, Velez dropped Salvador Sanchez twice en route to a third-round knockout.